Presented by Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds: ‘Singing It All Back Home’ featuring Ben Walker.
Shirley Collins, the doyenne of English Roots music, has described Naomi Bedford as the best singer of Appalachian ballads in Britain. And after a lifetime of singing them, writing about them and discovering them with song collector Alan Lomax back in the 1950’s, she should surely know.
The Appalachian ballad form has been liberally sprinkled throughout Bedford and Simmonds’ recorded oeuvre to date, from ‘Fair Ellendor’ and ‘The Davison Wilder Blues’ on earlier records to ‘Cruel Mother’ on the most recent; the acclaimed ‘Songs My Ruiner Gave To Me’.
For the next project, with full encouragement and advice from Collins, they have chosen to record a full set, favouring songs which originated in the British Isles and then made the long voyage to America with the settlers, changing and adapting as the generations passed along.
This will be no museum piece. In keeping with the folk tradition, the songs will be revised and re invigorated while staying true to the heart of the mythic stories. With a new set of arrangements and the power of Bedford’s evocative voice, these legendary songs will be continuing their journey home.
Workshop, 2.30pm: Appalachian Songs and the art of narrative song writing. £5, or free for ticket-holders. Booking is required: please book for this event first, and then see your confirmation email for information on how to book your free workshop ticket.